We were able to get our hands on a preview of Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. However, this preview is based on the PC version of the game. The PS4/PS5 version may have a different experience from this one.
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One takes place in 1880 with a 21-year-old Sherlock Holmes as he sets foot on the fictional island of Cordona, together with his bestfriend Jon. The two of them spent their days here as a child. The Holmes family had a mansion in Cordona that they stayed in until their mother’s untimely passing.
Ten years later, Sherlock and Jon return to Cordona to visit Sherlock’s mother’s grave and pay their respects. And this is where the adventure begins.
The preview lets us experience the first few hours of Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. It starts off with an investigation on a cane that was left behind. A young Sherlock Holmes starts his investigation to find the owner of the missing cane.
This is basically the tutorial period of the game as it introduces us to most of the core mechanics. One of Sherlock’s basic skills is Concentration. Concentration allows Sherlock to investigate the world in a deeper level. He can see people’s occupation, demeanor and physical appearances. Using the information that he can get from his Concentration, he can uncover clues and other useful information that can help him with his investigation.
Some important clues go to a section called his Mind Palace. The Mind Palace holds the important clues for a given Quest or Investigation that Sherlock is currently doing. He can then pair the clues here to uncover new clues to help him with his investigation. Once all clues have unlocked, he will then be able to figure out the outcome.
Figuring out the outcome doesn’t mean that’s the final answer though. It is because Sherlock can decide whether to trust his answer or do a different decision entirely. In doing so, it allows you to shape the world of Sherlock Holmes to your liking. Making it a different experience everytime. I really like this part of the game because it allows you to make the game your own.
There are other things that Sherlock can do with his clues like using it to show as evidence to a person you are accusing. Or figuring out the chemical analysis of a substance that you picked up. It really puts you front and center into the role of being a detective.
For those of you who would rather get your hand dirty and knock out some hooligans, there’s also something for you. Later on in the game, you will unlock the ability for Sherlock to go invading Lairs and putting the criminals to Justice.
I feel like the combat can be improved because it feels a little bit chaotic. The Lairs puts you in a room as you try to dodge and incapacitate the inmates one by one. I guess what it’s trying to achieve is realism as the enemies won’t just stop dead on their tracks while you are trying to apprehend someone. The game does have an option for you to skip enemy battles though if you really don’t want to do them.
The combat mainly consists of QTE events and gunplay. As Sherlock Holmes wasn’t given the license to kill, incapacitating the enemies is the only way to get a reward for it. Any killed enemies will mean you don’t get rewarded for them. Sherlock can use the environment to stun the criminals or shoot at weak spots in an enemy’s body. Once an enemy gets stunned you can then incapacitate them with a timely QTE.
Exploring the world of Cordona can either be done by foot or through Fast Travel. Fast Travel points gets unlocked once you have visited the area for the first time. There are so many things and places to discover in the open world.
Shops are scattered throughout the map for you to browse. You can buy things like costumes, and furnitures. You can also buy a newspaper from newspaper kiosks to read up on what’s currently happening. The newspaper will report the consequence of a recent decision that you made.
Speaking of costumes, Sherlock Holmes is well-known for his mastery of disguises. In true Sherlock Holmes fashion, you can suit up to disguise yourself as anyone. You’d need to buy clothes for this to work. You can also buy makeup to disguise him as a woman or a bruised up person. Disguises can help Sherlock get into places that he normally couldn’t get to. He can also use it to talk to people who normally wouldn’t talk to his regular self.
Overall, I’m really excited for what else this game has to offer. I can’t wait to know how it plays on the PlayStation 5 and I look forward the game integrating with the PS5’s features. This preview has really made me want to play the game more and see where the story takes me.